Ellis comments
Quote:
PSRev: If a religion is defined by connection and social cohesion then atheism, which has none of the above, is definitely NOT a religion.
Ellis, in the spirit of dialogue, I trust that we can agree to disagree, agreeably. In this spirit I offer the following opinion:

First, I am not sure what you mean by, "religion is defined by connection and social cohesion".

I agree that atheism (agodism--a new word I just coined) is not a religion in the usual sense of the word: That is, it is not a belief in God or gods, including physical and man-made things. It is not the worship of a God or gods according to a set of rituals as part of a well-organized and particular system. It is not like the well-organized Jewish, Christian, Moslem, etc., religions.

OTHER FORMS OF RELIGION
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However, my World Book Dictionary says that any matter of conscience can be a religion. As I understand this, this means that if one chooses to live as a hermit and as an atheist, theist, deist, unitheist, whatever, this is his/her form of religion.

BEWARE OF RELIGIONISM, INCLUDING ATHEISM
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My WBD also points out that we need to keep in mind that there is such a thing as "religionism--an excessive inclination toward religion".

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS SICK RELIGION--WAY OF LIVING
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I would add that religionism is what leads to so much anti-social behaviour, to bigotry (by-god-tri), fanaticism, jihadism, terrorism, martyrism, etc. All are sick forms of religion, which inspire followers to be intolerant of any differences of opinion.

What about superstition?--irrational religion. Some forms can be harmless and amusing. However, some forms--the kind which inspires you to neglect professional wisdom--can be very harmful.

THE ANTIDOTE TO SICK RELIGION IS NOT: NO RELIGION AT ALL
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The antidote to a sick religion is to work on developing a healthy one.

The floor is open. Let us dialogue on the questions:
1. What, in your opinion, makes for a healthy and helpful religion, or way of living?
2. What makes for an unhealthy, or harmful, religion?


Edited by Revlgking (01/15/08 10:42 PM)
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